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Friday, June 14, 2024

Moscow accuses Ukraine of multiple attempted drone strikes deep inside Russian territory

Russia’s Defense Ministry on Tuesday accused Ukraine of launching a series of attempted drone attacks on distant infrastructure in Russia, including near the capital after fires broke out at oil depots and authorities restricted airspace over the country’s second-largest city had been closed. Down suddenly.

Moscow Region Governor Andrei Vorobyov said a Ukrainian drone crashed near the village of Gubastovo, southeast of the capital. The drone appeared to be targeting what he called “civilian infrastructure”, which he later determined to be gas facilities belonging to the state-owned Gazprom company.

State media reported that the plant remains undamaged, citing the regional Energy Ministry.

State media later released photos of the allegedly crashed device, resembling the Ukrainian UJ-22 attack drone.

Relatively small and versatile, the UJ-22 can fly in bad weather and cover a distance of up to 800 kilometers. It is unclear where and when the photo of the downed drone was taken.

The crash is believed to be one of several attempted attacks, with state media reporting that a drone was shot down near the border with Belarus. The Defense Ministry said two other attacks were thwarted with the use of jamming drones in the Krasnodar and Adygea regions.

“Both drones lost control and veered off their trajectories,” the Department of Defense said. “One UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) fell into the field, and another UAV, deviating from the trajectory, did not damage any civilian infrastructure objects that were hit.

At least one drone appears to have slipped past the Russian defenses. Footage released overnight to social media and localized by CNN shows a fire at the energy company Rosneft’s oil depot in Tuapse on Krasnodar’s Black Sea coast.

It was unclear whether the facility was the intended target, but Ukraine has previously attacked oil depots in Russian-controlled territory.

CNN could not independently confirm the claims of any alleged attacks, and Ukraine did not immediately comment on the incidents. Ukraine has previously declined to comment on the attacks in Russia.

Following the alleged attacks, state media said Russia’s second-largest city, St. Petersburg, closed its airspace within a 200-kilometer (124-mile) radius on Tuesday and banned incoming flights.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was notified of the shutdown. Still, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to discuss whether it was related to “the incidents in St. Petersburg and Tuapse,” state media said.

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